The following programs are approved by the Minnesota Board of Administrators. All programs in the College of
Education are NCATE (National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education) approved. Our campus, MSU, Mankato
is NCA (North Central Association) approved.
Each of the MSU, Mankato graduate degree programs require completion of all credits within a 6-year timeline. (For
example, a starting date of Spring Semester 2008 means graduation no later than Fall Semester 2013).
Important Steps to Follow for Degree Completion
Upon acceptance into the program, you will be assigned an Advisor from the Educational Leadership
1. Learning Plan. Develop this in EdLd 671 after your 360 degree assessment. Submit it to your Advisor for retention
in your file.
2. Plan of Study. Complete your plan of study with your Advisor prior to completing 20 credits.
3. Internship in Administration. (EdLd 698). Be sure you send the full packet of materials together. All Internship
materials are on the department’s website: http://ed.mnsu.edu/edleadership/forms.html. Under Resources/Forms
download the syllabus, application, and agreement. Complete the application and agreement, then print. Sign and mail
the application packet for your internship, as directed. The internship must be applied for one semester in advance.
(Deadlines to apply are April 1 for summer semester, July 1 for fall semester, November 1 for spring semester.)
4. Portfolio Review (EdLd 670). The materials are on our website. Download the syllabus and the application.
Deadlines to apply are April 1 for summer semester, July 1 for fall semester, and November 1 for spring semester.)
5. Application for Graduation. Complete at the beginning of your final semester and mail directly to your Advisor.
This must be precise as your final transcript will be audited against this form in order for you to receive your degree.
6. Capstone Project. The portfolio review, which you are expected to develop and defend, is your capstone project.
This is completed during the semester you are registered for EdLd 670, Portfolio Review [Situational Observation].
Your work must be defended before a panel comprised minimally of one practitioner in the licensure field you are
seeking as well as one professor of educational leadership.
7. Recommendation for Awarding the Degree. Complete and submit this to your Advisor, who will get signatures for
you. Your portfolio defense must have been successful as the defense date must be noted on the form.
8. Administrative License. About a week after graduation, you may submit your application for your state license. All
official transcripts must be sent from your undergraduate and graduate institutions, including MSU, together with your
check and your application. The application is initiated by you, confirmed by your school district for years of credit,
and mailed to the MSU Licensing Coordinator, College of Education Dean’s Office, 118 Armstrong Hall, Mankato,
Director of Special Education
This licensure preparation is completed through our Specialist in Educational Leadership. A Master’s degree with
a license to teach in Special Education is required for admission.
The Specialist degree program is very specific and directs one toward competency in the field of Leadership in
Special Education. It will be between 30 and 33 credits total. There are generally no electives, and it is recommended that
you meet with the Coordinator of Licensing for Educational Leadership prior to entering the program.
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Because most schools need a licensed principal, this is the most widely held administrative license. In Minnesota one is
expected to have coursework and internship experiences designed to provide the full grade level range of K-12.
Entering as a Master’s Degree Student
If you begin working on your Master’s degree in Educational Leadership, that will provide the background for your future
Specialist degree in Educational Leadership. In the 34-credit Master’s program, you will find that about half of the program is elective,
including up to 10 credits from outside the Educational Leadership Department.
Those elective credits should be carefully planned. We recommend that you develop knowledge and skills in areas you will
eventually supervise, but where you have the least background experience. For example:
Elementary teachers should take a course in secondary curriculum/instruction.
Secondary teachers should take a course in elementary curriculum/instruction.
All future administrators from regular education should take a course in special education.
Consider any remaining electives from areas such as counseling, gifted and talented, Library Media, etc.
In addition to completing the leadership core, research and practicum components, we recommend you consider one or two
elective courses from educational leadership. This is an area where you will want to work with your advisor in order to gain the best
early exposure to educational leadership. However, you will want to be selective and not choose the more advanced courses until you are
in your program for the Specialist Degree.
If your Master’s degree is from MSU’s Educational Leadership Department, you will not have any deficiencies when you enter
the Specialist Program in Educational Leadership.
Entering as a Specialist Degree Student
If you already have a Master’s degree from another field, you may still enter the Specialist in Educational Leadership program.
However, there will likely be no electives and, in most cases, you will have a 3-credit course deficiency in Educational Leadership. That
course will be in addition to the 30-credit Specialist degree program.
Director of Community Education
This is the only administrative license in Minnesota that may be entered without the Specialist degree at our university. Our
program for this license preparation is the Master’s degree in Educational. The program is 34 credits and you will earn your Master’s
degree at the end. If you do not have a course in Human Relations, you must also include an undergraduate course in Human Relations
for state license. That HR requirement does not count for the Master’s degree.
By state rule, you may become licensed with just 20 credits towards your Maser’s degree if you and your advisor feel you are
prepared. You may do this and finish your degree within the six year requirement.
Except in rare circumstances, we recommend that educators first seek their administrative license in one of the three areas
described above. That is because your marketability for a future job as Superintendent is generally related to your proven success as a
principal, Director of Special Education or Director of Community Education.
When considering a program to become a licensed Superintendent, plan to meet with the Licensing Coordinator as soon as
possible. Options can be discussed at that time.
*If you did not have a course in Human Relations, you must also include an undergraduate course in Human Relations to become licensed as a
Minnesota administrator. That HR requirement does not count in your graduate program.
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